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Helping aging parents from afar

by Robin Aspelund
Office Coordinator, Holy Redeemer D’Youville Manor

All my years of experience working in elder care notwithstanding, I can at times feel ill-equipped when helping my own aging parents. It’s not so much that I don’t know how to help; it’s that sometimes they won’t let me help.

For instance, my parents raised me to be mindful of my safety and wary of strangers. I even have current and former law enforcement personnel in my family. Yet my mother has been known to give out personal information to strangers who call on the phone. She’s been cautioned about such things, but always says she’d know exactly what to do if she faced a dangerous situation.

Even with day to day activities, I know my family and I could be so helpful to them. I just don’t feel like they should have to worry with certain things at this point in their lives. Plus, I worry for them, especially being so far away.

Trying to help my parents long distance can be frustrating. I’d like to have them close so I can help them “up close and personal”. I’ve even offered to renovate my house and have them live with my family. Each time we discuss it, though, Mom and Dad say they’re not ready. From my perspective, it seems like the perfect solution, but of course I need to respect their wishes.

I often wonder where the time has gone and how I could have reached the age I have, when inside I still feel much younger. I know the same is true for my parents. Remembering this gives me a little more respect and compassion and helps ease my frustration.

So while I can see that they’re aging and I feel concerned for what I consider to be their frailties, my parents feel like they have it all under control; and in a lot of ways they do! Whether our elders are living on their own, with family, or in a LifeCare community, the important thing is to maintain respect for the things they can still do and not focus on their limitations. Whether communicating with your parents or with staff at the community where they live, a positive focus will help everyone enjoy life more.

Join us for some big band fun!

On Wednesday, July 23, don’t miss the big band sounds of the Tri-County Band. This 50-piece band will whisk you back in time with the great sounds from the golden era of music. Since 1950, the Tri-County Band has been delighting audiences as “Bucks County’s Finest Concert and Marching Band.”

Image of the Tri-County Band website
Join us in the lower level parking lot at Holy Redeemer Lafayette on July 23rd at 7:30pm. Bring a lawn chair and be ready for a fun evening of wonderful music. We hope to see you there! (Rain date: July 24th)

Safety trumps all in our retirement communities

By Kelly Beckmann, MSW, LSW
Residential Services Coordinator, Holy Redeemer Lafayette

While security is something every senior is concerned about, living in a LifeCare community provides the peace of mind that there is a team of professionals both protecting and responding to all security needs.

Throughout Holy Redeemer Health System we have a saying: “Safety trumps all.” This is just as true in our HealthCare facilities as it is in our LifeCare communities. As we mentioned in a previous post, our teams of safety coaches conduct regular safety rounds to ensure things are in proper working order. But what about the safety of knowing our residents are secure within their homes? Read more

Focusing on safety in long term care

By Stephanie Messler,
Assistant Administrator, Holy Redeemer St. Joseph Manor

When transitioning a family member to a long term care community from home, there’s a lot on your mind. Often, the questions include: What can we bring? What shouldn’t we bring? Can mom and dad still attend family events?

When considering items to bring from home, always keep safety first in mind. Read more

Downsizing for retirement

By Joan Maher
Supervisor of Residential Activities, Holy Redeemer Lafayette

“Many people have a junk drawer, but I have a junk ROOM…and a garage…and an attic. My husband and I have been in this house for 38 years. The house is too big, it’s expensive to heat and I’m so tired of cleaning two and a half bathrooms. The time has come to retire and downsize- but how can I throw out these adorable Valentine’s that Johnny made 25 years ago…and where do I start?”

When families or retirees first talk with us about joining our LifeCare community, it doesn’t take long for the conversation to turn to downsizing. “What will we do with everything in the house?” they wonder aloud. Read more

When the move to assisted living leads to guilt

By Julia Regan
Personal Care Administrator, Holy Redeemer St. Joseph Manor

It can be very uncomfortable to do the thing that needs to be done for another person. That includes helping your loved one decide to move to a LifeCare retirement community, or having to make the decision for them.

When I was growing up, my mother used to share stories often about people she knew who were growing older and needed more help having to “go to a nursing home.” She would always finish her story with the message, “One mother can take care of ten children, but ten children can’t take care of one mother.” The seed of guilt was certainly being planted. Read more

A recipe for a happy beginning to retirement living in a personal care community

Robin Aspelund
Office Coordinator, Holy Redeemer D’Youville Manor

Even the best recipes require tweaking for personal taste; the same is true for transitioning to a retirement community. As a new personal care resident is preparing to join us, we are often asked about which and how many personal items may be brought along. While there are some standard items that are typically included, the details are going to depend on the resident, the elder care situation, and personal preference. Read more